Bringing Mazel to Your Doorstep Hello Mazel is a subscription service that delivers handpicked Jewish goodiesâfrom Margarita mix to a towel that says "shvitsy"--right to your doorstep. We sat down with Yoav Schlesinger, the founder of Hello Mazel, to learn about the inspiration behind this Jewish-themed subscription box and how they pick treats that every Jewish grandmother would approve of. Episode 0136 February 24, 2017 Yiddish Book Center Amherst, Massachusetts Topics: Hello Mazel, Lisa Newman, Yiddish Book Center, The Shmooze, Yoav Schlesinger
Over the course of his decades-long career, Bob Dylan has produced some of the most powerful political songs of the era. Born Robert Allen Zimmerman, he grew up in a traditional Jewish family in Hibbing, Minnesota. Seth Rogovoy, author of Bob Dylan: Prophet, Mystic, Poet, joins us to talk about Dylan's Jewish roots and how he went from leading sing-alongs at summer camp to becoming one of the most important voices of his generation and winning a Nobel Prize. Episode 0135 February 17, 2017... Topics: Seth Rogovoy, Lisa Newman, Yiddish Book Center, The Shmooze, Bob Dylan, Jewish Music
Yiddish theater is experiencing an almost renaissance, with new productions of old Yiddish plays hitting the stage for the first time in decades. The Digital Yiddish Theatre Project was founded in 2012 by experts in the field of Yiddish theater, from historians and literary scholars to performers and musicologists. Joel Berkowitz, one of the founders, talks about how the project began and how it aims to bring Yiddish theater, past and present, to contemporary audiences in new ways. Episode 0134... Topics: Joel Berkowitz, Lisa Newman, The Shmooze, Podcast, Yiddish Theater, Digital Yiddish Theater Project
Artist Amy Kurzweil joins us this week to speak about her critically acclaimed graphic memoir Flying Couch. The memoir brings together Amy's own coming-of-age story with the story of her mother, a child psychologist, and her grandmother, a Holocaust survivor, demonstrating the importance of family in the formation of one's identity. Topics: Amy Kurzweil, Lisa Newman, The Shmooze, Podcast, Jewish Literature, Holocaust, Survivor, Graphic...
The Brooklyn-based Matzo Project, founded by summer camp friends Kevin Rodriguez and Ashley Albert, aims to make matzo less stale. They, along with a number of other foodie companies in Brooklyn, are introducing fresh contemporary takes on the foods that Jews know and love. Kevin joins us this week to talk about the origins of the company, the matzo-making process, and the unique flavors that The Matzo Project offers. Episode 0132 January 27, 2017 Yiddish Book Center Amherst, Massachusetts Topics: Matzo Project, Brooklyn, Lisa Newman, Kevin Rodriguez, The Shmooze, Jewish Food, Matzo
The stories collected in the newly published Have I Got a Story for You—discovered after many hours of combing through Der Forverts' archives—represent a departure from classic Yiddish literature and a new form of Yiddish mass media that would take the Jewish immigrant community by storm. Ezra Glinter, editor of the collection (a 2016 National Jewish Book Award Finalist), joins us to speak about the stories and what they mean not only for contemporary audiences, but what they meant for the... Topics: Lisa Newman, Ezra Glinter, Yiddish Translation, The Forward, Der Forverts, Yiddish Newspapers,...
Playwright and journalist Max Sparber was raised in a Reform Jewish household, attended an Orthodox high school, and, in college, majored in Jewish studies. After college, while living in Omaha, Nebraska, he set out to learn one thousand Yiddish words in a yearâand in the process, discovered the richness of Yiddish culture. Max chronicles his efforts to teach himself Yiddish on his blog "Dress British, Think Yiddish." Episode 0130 January 13, 2017 Yiddish Book Center Amherst,... Topics: Lisa Newman, The Shmooze, Max Sparber, Digital Yiddish, Yiddish Language
Blume Lempel was born in what is now Ukraine, spent time in Paris as a young woman, then fled to New York just before the Second World War, where she wrote works of Yiddish fiction until her death in 1999. Ellen Cassedy and her translation partner, Yermiyahu Ahron Taub, have brought Lempelâs unique storytelling to light in their recent publication Oedipus in Brooklyn and Other Stories. Cassedy joins us to speak about what drew them to Lempelâs stories and gives a taste of her bold, surprising... Topics: Lisa Newman, Ellen Cassedy, Blume Lempel, Oedipus in Brooklyn, Yiddish literature, translation
In the wake of the Ottoman Empire, Jews living in Salonica were forced to reimagine their communities and rethink their place in the newly formed nation-state of Greece. Devin Naar joins us this week to speak about his new book, Jewish Salonica: Between the Ottoman Empire and Modern Greece, and about how access to previously confiscated archives helped to inform his understanding of these communities. Episode 0127 December 6, 2016 Yiddish Book Center Amherst, Massachusetts Topics: The Shmooze, Lisa Newman, Ottoman Empire, Salonica, Sephardi Jews, Devin Naar
The Yiddish Book Centerâs newest exhibit, Balkaâs Lower East Side, features art that transcends the moment during which it was created. Curator Laura Kruger joins us to speak about the origins of the collection and the unique look that the pieces provide into what it was like to live on the Lower East Side in the twentieth century. Episode 0126 November 29, 2016 Yiddish Book Center Amherst, Massachusetts Topics: Lisa Newman, The Shmooze, Yiddish Book Center, Laura Kruger, Jewish Art, Laura Kruger, Hebrew Union...
Macaroni and cheese flowcharts and schnitzel costume patterns are just two of the many things you can find in Molly Yehâs (Tent: Food NYC â14) new cookbook âMolly on the Range.â Hear how she brings together the many aspects of her identity into reimagined Jewish recipes that are guaranteed to make your holiday cooking special. Episode 0125 November 21, 2016 Yiddish Book Center Amherst, Masschusetts Topics: Molly Yeh, Lisa Newman, Molly on the Range, Jewish food, cooking
What makes photography a particularly Jewish craft? That question fueled renowned photographer Penny Wolinâs eight-year project to capture the essence of American Jewish photographers, which eventually led to her newest book, Descendants of Light: American Photographers of Jewish Ancestry. Episode 0124 November 14, 2016 Yiddish Book Center Amherst, Massachusetts Topics: Penny Wolin, Lisa Newman, Photography, Descendants of Light, Jewish photographers, American...
In the Yiddish Book Centerâs new Great Jewish Books Book Club, which launches in January, club members will explore great works of modern Jewish literature with like-minded readers from around the world. Josh Lambert, the Centerâs academic director, talks about the details of the club and how it came to be, and gives you a sneak peek of the first title that book club members will receive. Episode 0123 November 7, 2016 Yiddish Book Center Amherst, Massachusetts Topics: Josh Lambert, Lisa Newman, Book Club, Yiddish Book Center, Great Jewish Books
The new documentary Finding Babel follows Andrei-Malaev Babel on his journey through the life and legacy of his grandfather, Isaac Babel, the great Russian writer who was executed by Stalin's secret police. Director David Novack talks about about the process of making the film, including the intimate moments that he and Andrei shared while retracing Babel's journey through France, Ukraine, and Russia. Episode 0122 October 28, 2016 Yiddish Book Center Amherst, Massachusetts Topics: The Shmooze, Isaac Babel, Lisa Newman, David Novack, Finding Babel
In the late nineteenth century, Jews celebrated the New Year by sending each other illustrated postcards with hopes and wishes for the upcoming year. Hannah Pressman, affiliate faculty and communications director for the Stroum Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Washington, shares the unique history of these cards, the companies that produced them, and the nostalgia that they inspire. Episode 0121 October 19, 2016 Yiddish Book Center Amherst, Massachusetts Topics: Hannah Pressman, Lisa Newman, The Shmooze, Yiddish Postcards, Rosh Hashanah
As Josh Kogan-Zajdman wrapped up his seventh and final week in the 2016 Steiner Summer Yiddish Program, he talked about growing up with Yiddish-speaking grandparents in Mexico, who inspired his interest in the language and culture, and about his surprising personal connection to the Yiddish Book Center’s recent acquisition of books from a school in Mexico. Episode 0118 September 13, 2016 Yiddish Book Center Amherst, Massachusetts Topics: The Shmooze, Lisa Newman, Josh Kogan-Zajdman, Yiddish Summer Program
Boxing historian Mike Silver, author of "Stars in the Ring: Jewish Champions in the Golden Age of Boxing: A Photographic History," talks about the all-but-forgotten history of Jewish boxers from the 1890s to the 1950s. Silver reminds us that Jewish boxers and entrepreneurs dominated the sport in the 1920s and '30s, and he discusses the ways in which boxing helped Jews assimilate to life in the United States. Episode 0117 July 28, 2016 Yiddish Book Center Amherst, Massachusetts Topics: The Shmooze, Lisa Newman, Mike Silver, Jewish boxers, Stars in the Ring: Jewish Champions in the...
Hankus Netsky tells us about his recent book, "Klezmer: Music and Community in Twentieth-Century Philadelphia," a portrait of the folk music and traditions of the city's Jewish community. A musical ethnographer and teacher, Netsky is a founder of the Klezmer Conservatory Band, which will play at Yidstock '16. Episode 0116 June 30, 2016 Yiddish Book Center Amherst, Massachusetts Topics: The Shmooze, Hankus Netsky, Lisa Newman, klezmer, Jewish musicians
The queen of Yiddish cabaret, Eleanor Reissa, is a Brooklyn-born native Yiddish speaker whose work in theater as a director, actor, writer, and choreographer garnered her a Tony Award nomination and propelled her into the front ranks of Yiddish theater and music. Episode 0115 June 9, 2016 Yiddish Book Center Amherst, Massachusetts Topics: The Shmooze, Eleanor Reissa, Lisa Newman, Yiddish cabaret, Yiddish music
The new website sholemaleichem.org considers the life and work of the great Yiddish writer on his hundredth "yortsayt." Sholem Aleichem biographer Jeremy Dauber and filmmaker Sam Ball, driving forces behind the site, talk about the project's use of exciting multimedia and interactive resources, and about the writer's formidable legacy and the sometimes surprising ways his work continues to influence contemporary culture. The Yiddish Book Center is a collaborator on the site. Episode... Topics: Tune in!, Jeremy Dauber, Sam Ball, Lisa Newman, Sholem Aleichem
May 6, 2016byRiverside Films for the Yiddish Book Center
Recorded live at the Yiddish Book Center on the hundredth anniversary of the death of Sholem Aleichem, two of the world's most engaging Yiddish scholars - Ruth R. Wisse, recently retired from Harvard, and her brother David Roskies, of Hebrew University and the Jewish Theological Seminary - retell, discuss, and debate their favorite Sholem Aleichem stories in a lively, freewheeling conversation. Topics: Sholem Aleichem, Yiddish Book Center, Ruth Wisse, Ruth R. Wisse, David Roskies, Yiddish literature,...
Over his career, Yiddish writer Isaac Bashevis Singer worked with dozens of female translators, with whom he developed close - and often complicated - relationships. Filmmaker Asaf Galay talks about his documentary "The Muses of Bashevis Singer," which includes interviews with a number of those women, and about the writer's particular approach to translating his work for an English-reading audience. Episode 0113 April 18, 2016 Yiddish Book Center Amherst, Massachusetts Topics: The Shmooze, Lisa Newman, Asaf Galay, Isaac Bashevis Singer, translation
Author and scholar Ilan Stavans talks about his latest book, "The New World Haggadah," a contemporary take that focuses on the Jewish experience from Moses to the Americas, and discusses why a multicultural, multilingual "Haggadah" is so important for today's seder. Episode 0112 April 6, 2016 Yiddish Book Center Amherst, Massachusetts Topics: The Shmooze, Lisa Newman, Ilan Stavans, "The New World Haggadah", multicultural...
As journalists writing in the wartime Polish ghettos, Peretz Opoczynski and Josef Zelkowicz captured the anxiety and uncertainty of daily life for Jews with breathtaking immediacy. Professor Sam Kassow, coeditor of "In Those Nightmarish Days," a collection of their work recently published by the Yiddish Book Center's New Yiddish Library, discusses the important contributions the two men's reporting make to our understanding of this place and time. Episode 0111 March 15, 2016 Yiddish... Topics: Tune in!, Lisa Newman, Sam Kassow, Warsaw ghetto, Lodz ghetto, Peretz Opoczynski, Josef Zelkowicz,...
Last summer, educators from around the country came to the Yiddish Book Center for our inaugural Great Jewish Books Teacher Workshop, where they worked together to develop curricula to bring modern Jewish literature and culture into their classrooms. Here, three of those teachers tell us what brought them to the workshop and how the program will shape their teaching. Episode 0110 December 30, 2015 Yiddish Book Center Amherst, Massachusetts Topics: Tune in!, Lisa Newman, Rabbi J.B. Sacks, Ariana Katz, Barbara Ellison Rosenblit, Great Jewish Books...
Though it has a long and varied history, the town of Oswiecim, Poland, is notorious for one thing: Auschwitz. Yet for centuries prior to World War Two, Jews and non-Jews lived side by side there. Shiri B. Sandler, curator of the exhibit "A Town Known as Auschwitz"--now at the Yiddish Book Center--discusses the rich history of the town and its Jewish residents from the sixteenth century through the post-war period. Episode 0109 December 10, 2015 Yiddish Book Center Amherst,... Topics: Tune in!, Lisa Newman, Shiri Sandler, Auschwitz Jewish Center, Museum of Jewish Heritage, Oswiecim
Tina Wasserman, author of "Entree to Judaism: A Culinary Exploration of the Jewish Diaspora" and "Entree to Judaism for Families: Jewish Cooking and Kitchen Conversations with Children," visits with us to discuss some traditional Hanukkah recipes and the histories behind them. Episode 0108 December 7, 2015 Yiddish Book Center Amherst, Massachusetts Topics: Tune in!, Lisa Newman, Tina Wasserman, Jewish Food, "Entree to Judaism", Hanukkah
At the Great Jewish Books Summer Program, high school students spend a week at the Yiddish Book Center delving into both classic and new works of modern Jewish literature. Two members of the Great Jewish Books class of 2015 talk about the engaging conversations they had in class, the fun of bonding with other students with shared interests, and the surprising things they discovered about the literature and themselves. Episode 0107 November 15, 2015 Yiddish Book Center Amherst, Massachusetts Topics: Tune in!, Leila Ullmann, Jared Stolove, Lisa Newman, Great Jewish Books, education, modern Jewish...
In 1938, Fania Lewando, the chef and owner of a popular vegetarian restaurant in Vilna, Lithuania, published hundreds of her recipes - from traditional Jewish dishes to vegetarian versions of holiday staples - in a cookbook. Culinary anthropologist Eve Jochnowitz tells us how the book was rediscovered decades later and how she came to translate it from the original Yiddish, making its delicious contents available for the first time to English-speaking cooks. Episode 0106 November 4, 2015... Topics: Tune in!, Eve Jochnowitz, Lisa Newman, Fania Lewando, "Vilna Vegetarian Cookbook", Jewish...
Filmmaker Erik Anjou's latest documentary, "Deli Man," tells the story of third-generation deli man Ziggy Gruber. In our conversation with Anjou, he tells us about the film, which also profiles other iconic delis and their owners; the place of the delicatessen in Jewish tradition; and what inspires people like Ziggy to keep that tradition alive. Episode 105 September, 2015 Yiddish Book Center Amherst, Massachusetts Topics: Erik Anjou, Deli Man, Jewish delicatessen, Yiddish Book Center podcast, Lisa Newman, Ziggy Gruber
For much of the twentieth century, the Red Apple Rest offered respite to countless weary vacationers traveling Route 17 between New York City and the resorts of the Catskills. Elaine Freed Lindenblatt, daughter of the iconic restaurant's founder, talks about "Stop at the Red Apple," her new memoir of that time and place. Episode 104 July, 2015 Yiddish Book Center Amherst, Massachusetts Topics: Stop at the Red Apple, Tune in!, Elaine Freed Lindenblatt, Yiddish Book Center's Tune in!, Lisa...
Saul Dreier and Ruby Sosnowicz's recently founded Holocaust Survivor Band has become an overnight sensation. Dreier and Sosnowicz took time out of their touring schedule to tell us how they returned to music late in life - and how this is all playing out. Episode 103 June, 2015 Yiddish Book Center Amherst, Massachusetts Topics: Holocaust Survivor Band, Saul Dreier, Ruby Sosnowicz, klezmer band, Jewish music, Tune in!, Yiddish...
Curator Eddy Portnoy shares the story behind "Yiddish Fight Club," a new exhibit at YIVO about Jewish boxers and wrestlers. The exhibit looks at the rich, if surprising, history of Jewish brawlers and the colorful Yiddish slang of that world. Episode 102 June, 2015 Yiddish Book Center Amherst, Massachusetts Topics: Eddy Portnoy, Yiddish Fight Club, Jewish boxers, Jewish wrestlers, Tune in!
Aaron Lansky visits with Mark Glickman, author of the upcoming "Stolen Words: The Nazi Plunder of Jewish Books." Glickman shares the story of how the world's largest collection of Jewish books - some tens of millions - were looted by Nazi soldiers and others who removed them from private collections, libraries, and institutions. Episode 101 May, 2015 Yiddish Book Center Amherst, Massachusetts Topics: Tune in!, Yiddish Book Center's podcast, Mark Glickman, Aaron Lansky, "Stolen Words: The Nazi...
We visit with photographer Marisa Scheinfeld to talk about her work chronicling the ever-evolving landscape of the Borscht Belt. The resulting work, "Echoes from the Borscht Belt: Contemporary Photographs by Marisa Scheinfeld," documents the dramatic decline of the resorts of New York's Catskills region. The exhibit is on display in the Yiddish Book Center's Brechner Gallery through October 2015. Episode 100 April, 2015 Yiddish Book Center Amherst, Massachusetts Topics: Tune in!, Yiddish Book Center, Lisa Newman, Marisa Scheinfeld, Borscht Belt
Award-winning children's book author and artist (and native Yiddish speaker) Uri Shulevitz's illustrious career has included illustrating classic Yiddish children's tales by Sholem Aleichem, Isaac Bashevis Singer, and I.L. Peretz. A retrospective of Shulevitz's work is now on exhibit at our neighboring Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. Episode 99 April, 2015 Yiddish Book Center Amherst, Massachusetts Topics: Uri Shulevitz, children's books, Yiddish stories, illustration, Lisa Newman, Tune in!, Yiddish Book...
Jeff Gabel, founder of the Boston-based Kitchen Kibitz, tells us about his pop-up dinner project, which explores modern takes on Jewish cuisine. Gabel, an alumnus of our Tent: Food NYC, was recently named to Zagat's "30 Under 30" list of "rock stars" redefining Boston's dining industry. Episode 098 April, 2015 Yiddish Book Center Amherst, Massachusetts Topics: Yiddish Book Center, Tune in!, Lisa Newman, Jeff Gabel, Kitchen Kibitz, Jewish food
In his new documentary, "Streit's: Matzo and the American Dream," director Michael Levine profiles the last family-owned matzo company in the U.S. and the integral role it's played for almost a century in its Lower East Side neighborhood. The film's release this spring coincides with a bittersweet development: the company's decision to leave the old neighborhood for a new suburban site. Episode 097 March, 2015 Yiddish Book Center Amherst, Massachusetts Topics: Tune in! Yiddish Book Center, Streits Matzo, Streits Matzo and the American Dream, Michael Levine,...
For more than thirty years, Murray Spiegel and his longtime friend Rickey Stein have been on a quest to translate the Four Questions of the Passover seder into as many languages as possible, recording people from around the globe as they ask the questions in their native language. On this episode of Tune In!, Spiegel tells us about the project and the book that resulted from it: "300 Ways to Ask the Four Questions: From Zulu to Abkhaz." Episode 96 March, 2015 Yiddish Book Center... Topics: The Four Questions, Murray Spiegel, Tune in!, Lisa Newman, Passover
Jeremy Cowan tells us how he combined his love of craft beer and of Jewish culture and literature to create his Shmaltz Brewing Company. Episode 95 March, 2015 Yiddish Book Center Amherst, Massachusetts Topics: He'Brew, Shmaltz Brewing Company, Jewish beer, Tune in!, Lisa Newman, Yiddish Book Center
Ruth Behar, an anthropologist from the University of Michigan, talks to Adela Dworin, president of the Jewish Community of Cuba in Havana. Last fall, Behar led a Yiddish Book Center tour to Cuba, where the group explored the Jewish history and culture in that nation, where an active Jewish community exists despite the fact that most Jews left after the revolution. Episode 094 Yiddish Book Center Amherst, Massachusetts Topics: Ruth Behar, Adela Dworin, Jewish Community of Cuba
We visit with Aaron Rezny and Jordan Schaps, co-authors of the newly published "Eating Delancey." The book celebrates the delis and restaurants of the Lower East Side - including Sammy's Roumanian Steakhouse, Russ & Daughters, Katz's Delicatessen, Yonah Shimmel Knish Bakery, and Ratner's - and the classic food they're known for, through photographs, recipes, profiles, and personal reminiscences from celebrities ranging from Joan Rivers to Itzhak Perlman, Donna Karan to Jerry... Topics: Eating Delancey, Jewish food, Aaron Rezny, Jordan Schaps, Jewish eateries
Last month at Tent: The South, we caught up with Macy Hart, director of the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute for Southern Jewish Life, who talked with us about the history of the Institute and the role Jews have played in southern history and culture. Episode 092 November, 2014 Yiddish Book Center Amherst, Massachusetts Topics: Tent: The South, Goldring/Woldenberg Institute for Southern Jewish Life
Aaron Lansky visits with Scott Davis, publisher of the recently released "Memories and Scenes: Shtetl, Childhood, Writers," an edition of newly translated stories by Yiddish writer Jacob Dinezon. Episode 091 November 2014 Yiddish Book Center Amherst, Massachusetts Topics: "Memories and Scenes: Shtetl, Childhood, Writers", Jacob Dinezon, Scott Davis
Painter Felix Lembersky resisted the strictures imposed by the state during the Soviet era to follow his own artistic inclinations, at great personal cost. Joel Berkowitz, director of the Sam and Helen Stahl Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, talks about Lembersky's choices and his work, as the Yiddish Book Center hosts the traveling exhibit "Felix Lembersky: Soviet Form, Jewish Context," on exhibit in the Brechner Gallery through March 2015. Episode... Topics: Felix Lembserky, Soviet art, Joel Berkowitz
Three high-school students share what it's like to spend a week reading, discussing, and arguing about modern Jewish literature at the Great Jewish Books summer program. Episode 089 October, 2014 Yiddish Book Center Amherst, Massachusetts Topics: Great Jewish Books, Jewish literature, Yiddish Book Center
Former Vermont Governor and Ambassador to Switzerland Madeleine Kunin tells us about the Lost Shul Mural Project. An effort is underway in Burlington, Vermont, to save its historic synagogue mural, a unique example of Eastern European Jewish folk art. Episode 088 September, 2014 Yiddish Book Center Amherst, Massachusetts Topics: Lost Shul Mural Project, Madeleine Kunin, Burlington, VT Shul
During a visit with Yiddish Book Center Steiner Summer Yiddish Program students Liza Wohlberg, Zeev Duckworth, and Michael Yashinsky, we learn what drew them to study Yiddish, what they've learned at the summer program, and how they imagine Yiddish will play out in their future. Episode 087 September, 2014 Yiddish Book Center Amherst, Massachusetts Topics: Yiddish program, Steiner Summer Yiddish Program, Liza Wohlberg, Zeev Duckworth, Michael Yashinsky
For nearly thirty years Bess Selevan has been a zamler for the Yiddish Book Center. Over the years Bess has shipped over 3,600 books to the Yiddish Book Center. During our visit we learn what drew her to become a volunteer, what boxes she recommends for shipping, and much much more. Episode 086 August 2014 Yiddish Book Center Amherst, Massachusetts Topics: Zamler, collecting Yiddish books, Yiddish Book Center, Bess Selevan